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Professor Jef Boeke is the founding director of The Institute for Systems Genetics at NYU Langone Medical Center. His group is focused on the mobile elements called retrotransposons that infest the genomes of all eukaryotes. The lab studies their mechanism of movement (retrotransposition) and how they find their homes in their host genomes. In 2014, an international team of scientists led by Professor Boeke synthesized the first functional chromosome in yeast, an important step in the emerging field of synthetic biology, designing microorganisms to produce novel medicines, raw materials for food, and biofuels. Prof. Boeke is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.